He could taste the ice in the air, and that was unusual for March.

She was saying something to him. Shouting, more like. He rolled to a stop and took out an ear bud, the right one. He leaned in with his good ear.

“Road’s closed,” she shouted. “Toxic fumes.” She took a drag on her cigarette and flipped the little octagonal sign she was holding from YIELD to STOP.

“They pay you enough to afford cigarettes?” he asked, not loud enough for her to hear. She wasn’t paying attention to him anyway; she gazed over his shoulder and into the distance, likely searching for her lost dreams on the distant horizon of memory. He replaced the ear bud, restoring the stereo effect of the environmental protection unit, and turned his bike around.

2015.03.16 – 2023.10.09

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